If you sort the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) Federal Contractor Misconduct Database (FCMD) by total misconduct dollars (penalties, fines and settlements) since 1995, you’ll find that Big Pharma (large pharmaceutical companies, i.e. drug manufacturers) in the first three positions with Merck & Co., Inc.’s $5.862 billion at the top.
Included in that amount is a 2007 legal settlement under which “Merck & Co. agreed to pay $4.85 billion to end thousands of federal and state personal injury lawsuits claiming injuries and deaths caused by Merck’s prescription pain medication Vioxx. Merck pulled Vioxx from the market in September 2004 after its own [belated or admitted] research showed the drug increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.”
Not included in that amount is “a $650 million settlement [Merck paid] to escape charges that it routinely overbilled the U.S. government [YOU] for medicines. The government accused Merck of giving or selling pills to hospitals at low or no cost to hook poor patients on expensive medicine, so that when the patients were discharged, they would continue taking the drugs with the government footing the bills. A spokesman for the group Taxpayers Against Fraud said the situation was “heroin-dealer economics … your first shot is for free, and after that it becomes more expensive … not to the hospital, but to Medicaid, which is paying the bill.”
Despite their history of selling dangerous drugs at inflated prices, Merck continues to be a top pharmaceuticals supplier for the federal government, with 2010 transactions alone of over $992 million. $984 million of that was for “drugs and biologicals” purchases awarded by the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
One of the reasons the CDC gives so many taxpayer dollars to Merck every year is because Merck manufactures 14 of the 17 vaccines the CDC “recommends” for children, and 9 of the 10 “recommended” for adults.
CDC “recommendations” like these are worth their weight in gold to Big Pharma companies like Merck, and one of the persons making those recommendations was Julie Gerberding, CDC Director from 2002 to 2009. Gerberding resigned her government post and – after a mandatory delay of a year and a day – became President of Merck’s Vaccine Division in January 2010. Before going through the BigPharma/CDC revolving door, however, her “Report to Congress ‘Prevention of Genital Human Papillomavirus [HPV] Infection’ paved the way for eventual approval of Merck’s Gardasil vaccine, guaranteeing billions in profits for her future employer. Perhaps the vaccine presidency is Julie’s reward for cementing the relationship between government and Merck via the CDC, the agency that behaves as the de facto marketing arm of the vaccine industry. Another gift to Merck under Gerberding’s management has been the CDC’s continual denial that there is any link between the mercury-based preservative, thimerosal, and autism on the small scale; and vaccinations and autism on the large scale. Recent CDC reports place the incidence of autism at 1 in 110 children, four times higher than previous estimates. A major key to the viability of future vaccines in the pipeline is the tacit denial of any link of autism to the heavy metal, or vaccines in general, now or in the future.”
Are the CDC’s vaccination “recommendations” aimed at (a) protecting the health of American citizens, or (b) increasing the wealth of pharmaceutical corporations? For the parents and loved ones of those killed or seriously affected by Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil – along with an increasing number of physicians and investigative journalists – the answer is “(b)”:
This document may contain links shortened using http://tinyurl.com to facilitate emailing. If you are concerned that we would use them to cloak phishing or malware, you should open them with this: http://longurl.org. Also our thanks to the miami beach web design, miami beach web designer and miami beach web developer who support our efforts.